Renewable Energy Update - May 2015 #2

by Allen Matkins

Renewable Energy Focus

Wyoming-to-California lines for wind power clear hurdle

REVE Wind News - May 2

A planned 730-mile power line project to export Wyoming wind power to Southern California has passed a significant regulatory milestone with the release of a federal environmental study. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management on Friday opened a 30-day period in which it will accept any protests against land-use changes for the TransWest Express project in the works since 2007. The 3,000-megawatt project faces at least a couple more rounds of federal scrutiny before it will be allowed to be built and deliver green energy to as many as 1 million homes.

Losses widen at Tesla, but company says production is on track

New York Times - May 6

Tesla Motors reported a larger first-quarter loss on Wednesday, but it was still smaller than analysts forecast, and the company appeared to be on track for important production milestones. Tesla, a maker of high-end electric cars based in Palo Alto, California, said its net losses tripled in the first quarter compared with the previous year, to $154 million. The company also said it expected to hit its target of selling a record 55,000 vehicles this year.

Jackson Family Wines plugs in giant Tesla battery system

North Bay Business Journal - May 5

Santa Rosa-based Jackson Family Wines, a global vintner best known for its Kendall-Jackson brand, has flipped the switch in a major way on Tesla’s new industrial-scale battery systems for storing electricity from renewable energy to use when the sun isn’t shining. Jackson is one of the first large-scale users of Tesla Energy’s stationary energy storage systems, a venture that Tesla launched in 2013 with battery systems for homes. The wine company now has 21 storage systems installed at its Kendall-Jackson winery and several other California wineries, totaling 4.2 megawatts of storage capacity.

UPS will use renewable natural gas for select delivery vehicles

Breaking Energy - May 5

Biomethane is a drop in the ocean of fuel used today in the U.S. shipping industry, but its prospects improved a bit on Tuesday with the announcement of an agreement by UPS to buy “renewable natural gas” from Clean Energy Fuels, the natural-gas-for-transport company co-founded by T. Boone Pickens. UPS said that beginning this month, tractors and delivery vehicles that refuel at stations in Sacramento, Fresno, and Los Angeles will annually use about 1.5 million gallon of the fuel, called Redeem.

CPUC opts to compare renewable alternatives before voting on Carlsbad power plant

KPBS - May 7

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) decided not to approve SDG&E'S proposed contract for a new natural gas power plant in Carlsbad until they have more information about renewable alternatives. The proposed Carlsbad Energy Center has been in the works for years, but the commissioners decided at a meeting in early May that they need a few more weeks before they can vote on whether to approve a contract for 500 megawatts of power from the plant, to built by NRG. The plant is intended to help replace the power lost when San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station was shut down in 2012.

Notable Renewable Energy Projects and Deals

Southern Power to acquire 60-megawatt plant from First Solar

PV-Tech - May 6

Southern Power, a subsidiary of renewables leader Southern Company, has now exceeded 1,000 megawatts of renewable energy development due to the acquisition of the 60-megawatt North Star Solar Farm in California. Southern Power purchased the plant from First Solar, while the remaining interest in the installation will be owned by an affiliate of First Solar. Standing as Southern Power’s fifth acquisition in California, the North Star plant is located in Fresno County and is expected to include 750,000 First Solar thin-film modules.

Eon offloads 20 megawatts in California

reNews - May 1

Dominion has acquired the 20-megawatt Alamo solar facility in California from Eon North America. The facility, which is expected to enter service in the second quarter of 2015, is located in San Bernardino County. It has a 20-year power purchase agreement, an interconnection agreement, and it is expected to qualify for the Investment Tax Credit.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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